Return to Wednesdays at the Cantab: Boston Poetry Slam

Cantab accessibility info

The Boston Poetry Slam’s weekly Wednesday show happens in the basement bar of the Cantab Lounge. For detailed directions and parking information, please click here.

The Boston Poetry Slam recognizes that the Cantab Lounge is not a highly accessible space, and strives to be transparent about the constraints of the room. Questions or concerns may be directed to the staff.

The weekly show takes place down one full flight of short stairs. Seating includes small upholstered couches, armless chairs with backs, and bar stools with backs, as well as standing room and an option to sit on the concrete floor; the room capacity is 75 with seating for approximately 60. Aisles to the stage, in front of the stage, and behind the bar are maintained by the hosting staff throughout the night.

Access to the platform stage is one short step up. A chair and a music stand on the stage are reserved for readers who wish to use them.

The space contains two gender-unconstrained bathrooms, each at the top of two stairs. The hosting staff strives for gender-neutral language as a default.

The open mic, featured poet, and poetry slam are amplified with a PA system that is loudest at the front of the room. There is no musical accompaniment but background noise from the show upstairs may be heard near the stage. Readers on the stage are brightly lit and the front of the room is well-lit, with light decreasing to dim at the back near the bar. No strobe or lighting effects are used.

No food is served at the venue, but outside food is permitted without specific constraint. Outside drinks are not permitted. Water is available for free from a pitcher on the bar. There is no bar minimum and sober audience members are welcome at the bar.

The series strives to book featured poets who are considerate and appropriate about providing trigger warnings. The open mic and slam are not pre-planned and are presented with a general trigger warning; open mic hosts remind the audience to feel free to move or vocalize in response to a poem.

The venue asks that no poet be recorded without permission. The written policy is available here.

For more information about the venue, check out the Cantab Lounge website at You may also telephone the Cantab at (617) 714-4278.

Audience members who would like to arrive early to get familiar and comfortable with the space, take extra time with the stairs, or work out assistance in navigating the room may contact the staff by email.